Our Hero of the day is facebook co-founder Chris Hughes

While speaking about the topic of universal basic income on CNBC, Facebook co-Founder Chris Hughes discussed how the digital economy is affecting the American workforce. Hughes recently published a book titled “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn” which suggests that American workers who make less than $50,000 per year should receive a government payment of $500 per month. In order to do this, Hughes suggests taxes on the wealthy be raised by 1 percent.

Hughes said during the interview, “I don’t have a crystal ball on exactly where technology is headed. But I do think that it’s going to continue to destroy work.” He continued to discuss the digital economy that has been produced via companies such as Uber, “So we talk a lot about Uber drivers, Lyft drivers, Postmates, the ‘gig economy,’ that is up and to the right” in terms of expansion, said Hughes. But Hughes argues that the workers in these “alternative work arrangements,” suffer from “deeply unstable,” incomes. As more jobs become automated and performed my computer programs or robots, Hughes said  “The future is already here. Work is already changing in America.”



Ammar Campa-Najjar, there are a lot of Americans who work very hard who cannot achieve their dreams.

I’ve played by the rules all my life.

Did my time in the Navy as a Radioman.

Taught myself electronics and computer programming.

Had a damn good living until our government allowed our businesses to send our jobs to other countries and sold non-immigrant guest worker visas via a lottery system to our businesses to import those to hunt our remaining jobs which has forced out the older workers like myself and denied our younger college educated kids the opportunity to establish themselves in our business community.

And when I wrote our government who you were the mouthpiece for, begging for help, ya’ll threw me and millions of other former middle class workers under the bus in favor of guest workers who were not even born here in America.

So no, you will not get my vote because you have never stood up for people like myself and demanded their right to pursue their dreams.

Only yours.

At our expense.

Ammar Campa-Najjar, who has raised half a million dollars in his battle to defeat Rep. Duncan Hunter, was forced to defend himself Tuesday when an Israeli newspaper reported that a grandfather he never knew was a terrorist.

“I’m blessed to have been born in America, a country where regardless of your appearance, the sound of your name, or where your family came from, you can achieve your dreams if you work hard and believe enough,” said Campa-Najjar.

The Democratic candidate, who is of Mexican and Palestinian descent and grew up in El Cajon, issued a statement after the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that a grandfather was a Palestinian terrorist in the 1970s. Yusuf al-Najjar was assassinated in Beruit by an Israeli commando force in 1973 after the Munich Olympics massacre.

“Like many American families, my heritage bears a heartbreaking history,” said Campa-Najjar. “To achieve peace, Palestinians and Israelis will have to make the same personal choice I’ve had to make: leave the dark past behind so that the future shines brighter in the eyes of our children.”

Haaretz noted that “the grandson of one of the architects of the Munich massacre is running for Congress in California, and winning praise from members of the local Jewish community for his moderate positions on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.”

Campa-Najjar has been endorsed by the California Democratic Party and San Diego City Council members Chris Ward and David Alvarez.


What about Displaced American stories, told by Displaced Americans?

I feel for these folks.

But after 15 years with very little work, and 5 years with absolutely zero work, I also feel for the American citizens, born and raised who are being thrown under the bus as they grow older and have high paying jobs that can be forced to train their replacements, among other things.

Quesada eventually learned English and attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, studying physics. He started teaching, eventually ending up in a military school during the Vietnam War, helping prepare troops to fight the same communism overseas he fled in Cuba. After getting his engineering graduate degree, he went to work for the Department of the Navy and was stationed in Bermuda, helping the Navy track submarines during the Cold War. Eventually, he ended up in Panama City, working at the Navy base to train SEAL teams on the latest equipment and teaching at Gulf Coast State College.

“I wanted to do something to further the cause that I embraced,” Quesada said. “I had added incentive. I told them, ‘Go get ‘em!’”

Six years after his arrival, Quesada’s family was finally able to join him, though they, too, lost everything when they fled. Lacking the required licenses to start an orthodontic practice in the U.S., Quesada’s father went back to school in his 60s and eventually was able to rebuild a practice.

Though he was sponsored by the State Department as a political refugee and had a relatively easy time with the immigration system, Quesada said he has a distaste for how the current immigration discourse is framed, particularly when the idea of merit is involved, and having to earn a spot in the country. At 15 years old, with no marketable skills and rudimentary English, Quesada said he would have been sent back to Cuba if his entry had been down to so-called merit, but he was able to make something of himself and contribute to the framework of America.

“Let’s face it, some people get the merit while they’re here,” he said. “I didn’t have any degrees. I got the merit while I was here, and look at all the contributions I made.”


Is there a federal program that actively subsidizes work-place discrimination against one class of workers in favor of another class?

A program that invests more than $1 billion a year to promote that kind of discrimination?

Does such a program not only fund job discrimination, does it specifically go after a group of people usually thought to be, to say the least, harmless — U.S. citizen and green card college graduates?

And does that program use funds swiped from the trust funds for Social Security and Medicare that are so helpful to our elderly population?

The program’s description above, though 100 percent accurate, sounds like our government’s policy in this area had been taken over by those all-too-skillful Russian hackers.

In this Marxist opium dream, U.S. employers are given financial incentives, by their own government, to discriminate against their owncitizens. Such a program would seem be both highly unattractive and politically indefensible. What sort of weird political arrangements would facilitate such a program?

Well, it was not passed by Congress. It was created on a small scale within the Bush II administration, expanded mightily by the Obama administration, and so far, has been tolerated (in silence) by the Trump administration. It survives because it was born in and continues to grow in virtual secrecy, and because it is never described in the accurate, if harsh, terms used above. It is no opium dream; it is reality.

It is called Optional Practical Training (OPT) and it is for foreign graduates of U.S. schools. Its slogan should be: “Americans Need Not Apply”, as U.S. citizens and green card carriers are not eligible for its benefits.

How does it work? There are two stages, the second of which is worse than the initial one. In the first, or student phase, CPT (a form of OPT for current students, called Curricular Practical Training), allows the employers of foreign students, whether on or off campus, as well as the student concerned, to avoid paying payroll taxes.

These are the taxes that support the Social Security and Medicare programs, and the federal part of the unemployment insurance program. These taxes come to about 8.25 percent for both the employer and the worker. U.S. resident college students get the same break if they happen to work on campus, but they must pay the full rate if they work off-campus, as many of them do; so, to the extent that they do work off campus, the Americans are disadvantaged.

The second and more controversial phase, OPT, is for alien alumni, and the discrimination against American college grads is more pronounced. No matter where the domestic resident grads work, they and their employers must pay the full payroll taxes. Meanwhile the foreign grad, no longer a student, but still with a student visa, does not pay the payroll deductions, and neither does his or her employer. (OPT uses a magic wand to convert foreign alumni to foreign students for these tax purposes.)



America, your laws do NOT apply to me

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Operator of Massachusetts Temp Agency Pleads Guilty to Employment Tax Fraud and Obstructing The IRS

A Massachusetts temporary employment agency operator pleaded guilty today in Boston federal district court to an indictment charging him with conspiring to defraud the government, failing to pay over employment taxes and obstructing the internal revenue laws, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.


According to the indictment and statements provided in Court, Tien Chau ran an employment agency that provided temporary labor to businesses in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The agency operated under at least four different names: Central Boston Staffing Services, Metro Boston Staffing Services, General Staffing Inc. and Kim’s Staffing Inc.  Chau and others used nominees to conceal their ownership of the business.


From 2006 through 2011, Chau and others conspired to conceal the agency’s total number of employees from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to lower the staffing agencies’ employment tax liabilities.  Chau attempted to hide the size of their workforce from the IRS by paying most of the employees cash under the table and filing false employment tax returns that both underreported the number of employees and omitted wages paid in cash.  Chau and others in the conspiracy allegedly cashed over $11 million in client checks at a check cashing facility in Worcester and used the staffing agency’s site supervisors, office manager and drivers to pay the employees in cash.


The conspirators sought to obstruct an investigation by, among other things, directing an employee, after learning of her interview with special agents, to assist with shredding the agency’s records.  Chau also allegedly destroyed and removed computers and computers equipment from the business’s office.


A sentencing date has been set for May 17, 2018.  Chau faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge, five years in prison for each employment tax count, and three years in prison for obstructing the internal revenue laws.  He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.


Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Brittney Campbell and Shawn Noud of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.


pleaded guilty yesterday in a U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, to forced labor, visa fraud conspiracy, and filing a false federal income tax return

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Oregon Man Pleads Guilty to Forced Labor and Related Crimes in Connection with Scheme to Coerce Thai Nationals to Work

Defendant used debts, fraud, threats of financial and reputational harm, and other means to compel victims to work long hours for minimal pay at restaurants in Oregon and Washington

Paul Jumroon, also known as Veraphon Phatanakitjumroon, 54, of Depoe Bay, Oregon, and a naturalized citizen originally from Thailand, pleaded guilty yesterday in a U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, to forced labor, visa fraud conspiracy, and filing a false federal income tax return, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams of the District of Oregon, Special Agent in Charge Renn Cannon of the FBI in Oregon, and Special Agent in Charge Darrell Waldon of IRS Criminal Investigation’s Seattle Field Office.  Jumroon waived indictment by a federal grand jury and pleaded guilty to an information filed by the United States Attorney’s Office and the Civil Rights Division.

According to the defendant’s plea agreement and admissions in court, between 2011 and 2014, the defendant and his associates fraudulently obtained E-2 visas to bring Thai nationals into the United States to provide cheap labor at his restaurants, Curry in a Hurry in Lake Oswego, Oregon and Teriyaki Thai in Ridgefield, Washington. E-2 visas are granted to foreign nationals who invest substantial money in a U.S. business and direct its operations, and to employees who have special qualifications that make their services essential to that business.

Jumroon used the fraudulently obtained visas to entice four forced labor victims to come to the United States by making false promises to them. According to court documents, the first victim arrived in the United States in June 2012, and the second victim arrived in April 2013. Jumroon used inflated travel expenses, debt manipulation, threats of deportation, serious financial and reputational harm, verbal abuse, and control over identification documents, among other means, to compel the victims to work 12 hours a day, six to seven days a week, for minimal pay, until they managed to leave in October 2013 and 2014, respectively.

As part of the defendant’s guilty plea, Jumroon agreed to pay all four victims a combined $131,391.95 in restitution for their unpaid labor in connection with his forced labor scheme.

The defendant further admitted to filing multiple false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service, failing to report cash income earned from his restaurants between 2012 and 2015.  As part of the plea agreement, Jumroon agreed to pay tax due and owing in the amount of $120,384 to the IRS.

“Combatting human trafficking is a priority for Attorney General Sessions and the Justice Department,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “Securing a guilty plea today is just another example of this commitment and the work of the Civil Rights Division, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to hold those who choose to exploit vulnerable individuals accountable for their actions.”

“Human trafficking is a degrading crime that undermines our nation’s most basic promise of liberty. This defendant preyed on the hopes of vulnerable workers, using fear to compel them to work long hours for little pay. He turned a promise of employment and a better life into a human tragedy for his own financial gain,” said U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams for the District of Oregon. “This case demonstrates our firm commitment to holding traffickers accountable and restoring the rights, freedom and dignity of victims. It should also serve as a reminder that these types of crimes happen all around us and often in plain sight. We encourage all Oregonians to remain watchful for signs of human trafficking and to notify law enforcement immediately when something seems amiss.”

“The American dream is built on the belief that hard work can bring about a better life. For the victims in this case, that dream turned into a nightmare of false promises, forced labor and abuse,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “These cases are very difficult to identify and work, so we are thankful the courageous victims in this case were able to reach out for help through trusted community contacts.”

“Forced labor schemes, such as the one employed by Paul Jumroon, are deplorable crimes that have no place in today’s society,” said Darrell Waldon, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation’s Seattle Field Office. “Falsely reporting income and expenses associated with such schemes will continue to be vigorously investigated by IRS-CI Special Agents.”

Jumroon faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for forced labor, five years in prison for visa fraud conspiracy, and three years in prison for filing a false tax return. His sentencing is scheduled for May 24 before United States District Judge Anna J. Brown.

Attorney General Sessions recently issued a proclamation commemorating January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and the Justice Department recently hosted a Human Trafficking Summit where both the Attorney General and Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand gave remarks.

The District of Oregon is one of six districts designated through a competitive, nationwide selection process as a Phase II Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam), through the interagency ACTeam Initiative of the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Labor. ACTeams focus on developing high-impact human trafficking investigations and prosecutions involving forced labor, international sex trafficking and sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion through interagency collaboration among federal prosecutors and federal investigative agencies.

This prosecution is the result of the joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, with assistance from the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and Portland Police Bureau. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hannah Horsley and Scott Bradford of the District of Oregon, and Lindsey Roberson of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.


Over 30 years wearing all hats in technology, both hardware, and software, and I don’t meet the experience requirements?

Give me a break folks.

Customer Support?

I could do it in my sleep, if only the VA would give me the opportunity to prove that I can do it.

Dear Virgil Bierschwale,

This refers to the application you recently submitted to this office for the position below:
Position Title: IT Specialist
Pay Plan/Series/Grade: GS-2210-7/9/11
Hiring Office: Tucson VA Medical Center
Location: Tucson, Arizona

Based on the application package you submitted and/or the answers provided on the occupational questionnaire you were found: NP – No Preference.

Ineligible for the following position or positions:

  • GS-2210-11(Customer Support); You are ineligible because you do not meet the minimum education and/or experience requirements for this series/specialty/grade combination.


Eligible for the following position or positions:

  • GS-2210-9(Customer Support); You are tentatively eligible for this series/grade combination based on your self-rating of your qualifications.
  • GS-2210-7(Customer Support); You are tentatively eligible for this series/grade combination based on your self-rating of your qualifications.

You will receive notification of your referral status if you were found eligible and your application is forwarded to the selecting official. If you were found ineligible this is your final notice regarding this vacancy announcement for this position, series/grade and location.

Celeste Marshall, do you really expect me to believe you can’t find Displaced American Software Developers?

Like many young tech companies, IDX in downtown Eugene has a playful atmosphere. It’s got pop culture décor and a lounge with pinball machines and musical instruments. The real estate software firm employs about 70 people. Three of them are foreign citizens, here on H-1B visas. Dhanya Harindran, a data engineer from India, enjoys her job:

Harindran: “I like where I am right now, IDX is an awesome company. The people are great, friendly, and I feel like it’s the right mixture of work and pressure, there’s not too much pressure.”

In order for Harindran to get the position, IDX had to sponsor her. Celeste Marshall is the Human Resources Director:

Marshall: “We work with an immigration attorney to facilitate the paperwork process but there’s a lengthy, it’s about a three-months requirement to post a position, to confirm that the requirements that we have for this position are valid.”

Marshall says they’ve been able to fill jobs unmet by the local labor pool, and:


Lets see, I have been working with data since Bill Gates made that white box with the red switch famous.

And I got my real estate license when I could no longer get hired by firms like yours because I went over 45 years of age.

My story is not unique.

There are several million, if not more, of us out there.

And we would all love to quit our janitor jobs and get back to doing what we spent our lives training for.


Amy Weaver, Tony Prophet – Why is it that Salesforce doesn’t help Displaced American Software Developers get back to work?

Is it because they are Americans?

There are many who have been forced from the workforce.

Their crime?

They turned 46 at some point in their life.

Their sentence?

If they can’t find work, a tent city, or perhaps even a bridge, or suicide.

Yet the San Francisco Chronicle will not tell their story.

Imagine that.

She was brought to the United States — legally — when she was 3 by her parents, who both work at Salesforce under temporary H-1B visas for high-skilled foreign workers.

Jasmine’s parents are dedicated to their jobs and love America. They both applied for green cards to become legal permanent residents, and they hope to become citizens. But they’ve been waiting for their green cards for nearly eight years.

The problem is, under current law, there’s an arbitrary cap of about 9,800immigrants who can receive a green card each year from any one county. Which means people from countries with high populations — for example, India — can end up waiting decades.

If Jasmine turns 21 before her parents’ green cards are approved, she’ll lose her status as a dependent and her legal right to be in this country. “Our family has never been apart,” says her mother. “If Jasmine were forced to leave the United States, we’d all go back to India together.”

“We haven’t talked to Jasmine about it yet,” she adds. “We don’t want her to be worried.”

But as parents, they are.


I hope Congress will keep in mind that these workers, whether deserving of help or not, are NOT constituents.

I’ve been neutral on this issue (leaning toward supporting the per-country caps), but one thing I am NOT neutral on is lobbying by noncitizens. IV has retained a fancy lobbying firm, and regularly has its members call and visit members of Congress. This is fundamentally wrong in the first place, but even worse considering the negative impact these workers have on U.S. citizens and permanent residents in the STEM areas.

I hope Congress will keep in mind that these workers, whether deserving of help or not, are NOT constituents.